Options Now ribbon-cutting
GODFREY — Women at risk of unplanned pregnancy can be vulnerable if they don’t understand their options.
Formerly known as Arms of Love, Options Now-Medical Pregnancy Clinic celebrated Thursday with a ribbon-cutting in appreciation of the efforts of the Knights of Columbus of Godfrey, Alton, Bethalto, Jerseyville and Pere Marquette Assembly. The K of C members raised $12,500 and were matched by the national K of C to donate $25,000. The donation will help purchase a new ultrasound machine to establish if a woman is pregnant, if the pregnancy is viable and determine the length of gestation.
“The ultrasound is key to the services that we provide our patients,” Options Now Executive Director Trudy Bodenbach said. “She needs definitive answers to these questions before she can make an informed decision.”
As ultrasound machines became antiquated and unusable, the need arose for two new machines. Two generous donors provided for the purchase of one machine, while the K of C donation will allow for the second machine.
“Our services are free for all of our patients,” Options Now Director of Advancement Cara Paschal said. “We believe in giving an expectant mother all the education and resources and the medical services that they need in order to make an informed decision. This is the one place where women can get all of these services free of charge. We make no money, no profit based on their decision and this is a completely safe, confidential and nonjudgmental place where they can get all the answers before they make a choice.”
Options Now says it offers services to help pregnant women by relieving pressure others may be putting on them and giving them a safe place to gather information before making the best decision for themselves and their unborn baby.
“Young women in their college years, from ages 18 to 24, fall into a higher risk for an unplanned pregnancy,” Paschal said. “We now have Autumn Wesler, who is our campus coordinator who will work with Lewis and Clark Community College and SIU Edwardsville to get campus organizations developed. Our next goal is to raise money to provide a mobile unit that will allow us to go to women who need help in place of them having to come to us. We’ve structured our services and focused on our strengths and we want to take all of our medical services and our options education and make it mobile.”
Options Now medically establishes if a woman is pregnant with a viable pregnancy and how far into the pregnancy the expectant mother is. The organization also provides free testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
Options Now will provide education about the expectant mother’s options as well as resources to provide support as she makes her decision.
“I think what they’re offering is a great service,” U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) said. “This is an opportunity for women from all walks of life to come in and understand what their potential pregnancy means to them and their family. I am someone who is pro-life and I would hope that many families would decide to have that child rather than choosing a different option. Options Now provides doctors, nurses and licensed counselors free of charge and I hope that women who don’t know what to do can come receive this service so they can learn about their options. I commend the many volunteers and donors who have given generously to make the equipment available to service our communities.”
Churches such as Heartland Baptist Church of Alton and Crossroads Church in Godfrey were on hand to provide their support. State Sen. William Haine, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus and Davis, as well as state Rep. Dan Beiser, attended the ceremony. Alton Mayor Brant Walker and Godfrey Mayor Michael McCormick spoke in support of Options Now’s efforts.
For information, visit www.optionsrightnow.com.
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